Nonhuman inhabitants of the planet Metrin in the Borshall/New Sardinia area. Metrinaire are six-limbed mammaloids with two equally-developed brains -- one in the head, and another just under the rump.
The Metrinaire became partners with Humans in the Metrinal Union. Except for Dogs, Metrinaire are considered the closest thing to a Human partner-race.
About 880,000 BCE, roughly twenty thousand years after the proclamation of Kaylpeskrit, the Gergathan made a military foray into the Scattered Worlds. Kaylpeskrit had sensed increasing activity in the area that was later to become the Empire of the Miethara, and as a warning threw an ice-asteroid at Metrin, whose Coruman-descended inhabitants were in a hunter/gatherer stage.
The results were catastrophic. Metrin was knocked into a markedly eccentric orbit, one that took about 600 Earth-days and allowed average temperatures to range between -10 degrees and 60 degrees in the temperate belts.
The dominant species entered a symbiosis with another species, resulting in a creature with two brains. The hindbrain (or, in Metrinaire terms, "inner mind") took over body function, allowing biofeedback in a way only approximated by Humans. During the 40-day hottest spell, and the 100-day coldest spell, the Metrinaire went into reduced activity, almost hibernation. The hindbrain developed its own eye below the digestive organ, and nervous circuitry to echo the sensory impressions processed by the forebrain. In effect, the two creatures became one, ultimately carried in the same uterus and fused during gestation.
Later, with technological advance, the Metrinaire managed to
gain more degree of activity, but still the annual cycle is divided
as follows: 100 days: Contemplation, Hindbrain dominates
130 days: Action. Forebrain dominates.
40 days: Contemplation, Hindbrain dominates.
130 days: Action, Forebrain dominates.
The fact that an individual Metrinaire is actually a fusion of two beings has become obscured with a merging of body function, and nowadays that fact is known to few beyond sophisticated biochemists.
Sex organs merged, so that a male Metrinaire produces sperm from both symbionts, while both sets of ovaries release eggs at the same time. Female Metrinaire have two independent uteri; in each, pairs of embryos develop and merge. Young are borne highly undeveloped, like Terran marsupials, and finish their development in the fur of the mother. Clutches average about 8.3, and infant morality rates are as high as 60%. Gestation takes about 40 days,m and can only occur during the first half of either of the 130-day Action cycles. Conception must occur during the first 10 days of each Action cycle.
c. 880,000 BCE: Ice asteroid collides with Metrin, virtually wiping out all life.
c. 500,000 BCE: Metrinaire take essentially their present-day form, in a neolithic culture.
c. 2000 BCE: Beginnings of civilization. Writing.
c. 1000 BCE: Metalwork begins.
c. 1000 CE: Iron Age.
c. 3000 CE: First great Empire dissolves but culture remains.
c. 4000 CE: Industrial Revolution.
c. 4500: Computers, lasers.
4518 CE: First space travel.
c. 4600 CE: Space industrialization throughout planetary system. First interstellar probes.
4736: Discovery of tachyon drive.
4752: First Contact with Humans.
c. 4750 - 5500 CE: Colonial period. Localized wars. Interstellar government established with the aid of the Galactic Riders.
5721 CE: Metrinal Union formed.
6762 CE: Metrinal Union annexes Terexta.
8206 CE: Metrinal Union shattered by forces from Borshall/New Sardinia in collaboration with the Escen Hegemony. Credixian Imperium is a silent partner. Metrinal Union settlements retain cohesion and become more insular.
c. 10,000 CE/20,000 H.E.: Metrinal Union re-emerges as an economic unit, if not a political one. Nominally under control of Borshall/Sedanten League.
20,724 H.E.: Second Terran Empire proclaimed. Metrinal Union citizens granted full rights.
21,123 - 21,340: Metrinaire Dynasty rules Second Empire.
The central event of Metrinaire history was the ice-asteroid impact c. 880,000 BCE. The proto-Metrinaire were hunter/gatherers at this time, and apparently had begun to develop speech and mythology. Although most natives died in the 2-300,000 years after the impact, and the rest were transformed beyond recognition, legends and memories were still preserved.
The mythological impact of the Impact was considerable. The ice-asteroid, seen approaching from the sky, was viewed as an act of hostile gods against the Metrinaire race. The Metrinaire thus managed to conceive of themselves as surrounded by hostile gods in a hostile universe. This attitude gave the Metrinaire impetus to develop intelligence, and later civilization, in spite of their built-in dormancy periods.
Most land-based life on Metrin was destroyed by the Impact -- only a few dozen animal species, and fewer than a hundred plant species, remained. The plants, insectoids, and animals immediately started differentiating into other species, to fill newly-vacant ecological niches. Many degenerate Metrinaire forms fill these niches. As a result, the Metrinaire had an early awareness of evolution.
Unfortunately, all species of Hlutr were destroyed on Metrin; there were not even degenerate, partly-intelligent Hlutr forms as on Earth. The Council of the Free Peoples of the Scattered Worlds debated sending Hlutr seedlings to guide the Metrinaire, but Dyyla Nstaz of the Daamin argued against the step, and the Council finally decided simply to ask the Galactic Riders to keep an eye on the planet. The extent to which these Riders helped to direct the evolutionary development of the Metrinaire is unknown.
The Metrinaire, therefore, were one of the only societies to grow up with a full awareness of the legends of the Scattered Worlds.